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If you love Christmas, Disney World in December is an absolute delight. There are daily holiday events and activities happening at each of the major theme parks, and the resorts at both Disney World and Universal Orlando are decked out in their best holiday finery. Mommy Frog loves the word finery, especially when it's on display in all of its Victorian splendor during Christmas at Disney's Grand Floridian. Mommy Frog loves to visit this time of year particularly because of the spectacular decorations on display at the Disney World resorts. Among the most delectable are Disney's Grand Floridian, which features a life-size Victorian gingerbread house and the gigantic gingerbread tree at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Disney's Wilderness Lodge has nothing edible on display, but it is a sight to behold. Its exposed timber and pitched roof is the perfect place for the massive Christmas tree outfitted in pine cones, drums and teepees.
Yes, the theme parks are all decked out for the holidays, and there are tons of holiday events and happenings, including Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot's Holidays Around the World and Candlelight Processional, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios, SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration and the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal. Even better, most of them are included with regular admission into the theme parks. That makes it an extra special bargain in my book, and, yes, a great time to visit.
As far as crowd levels go, Disney World in December is divided. The first half of the month sees low to neutral crowd levels, but beware, the second half of the month sees the highest crowds of the entire year! If you're considering taking the kids out of school for vacation, the first half of the month is the best ti We know this is a personal decision, and we won’t judge you either way (here are a few questions to ask yourself before you do). The beauty of visiting in early December is that you can take in all of the spectacular holiday displays and events, and even let the kids visit Santa without having to worry about humongous lines.
To make your planning easier, our Crowd Calendar is available a full year out! We recommend you check the Crowd Calendar when you begin planning your trip to find the best travel dates and then revisiting it again as you get closer to your actual trip to pick the recommended park by day.
Rainfall chances this month are low, and the average high is 73 with an average low of 52. Disney's Blizzard Beach and LEGOLAND’s Water Park are closed for the season (Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, SeaWorld by Aquatica and Wet 'n' Wild are open and heated). The Disney resort pools and most Orlando hotel pools are heated! Here is the packing list for this time of year.
Events at Disney World in December
Here’s the rundown of the events that usually take place in December. Be sure to check out special events pages for Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando for full details.
No matter when you decide to visit Disney World, be sure to check out the blog for the latest Disney World news, tips and information. You'll find a ton more resources inside our Orlando Planning Guide.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party,
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights,
Epcot Holidays Around the World & Candlelight Processional,
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration,
We need help with plans.. meeting family December 21-23 leaving December 24. We’ll have a car.
Affordable hotel? One day pass for adults?
Thank you ????
You can check out all of our discounted hotel rates here. Keep in mind that this is amid the busiest time of the year, so we suggest booking as soon as possible! If you are looking to stay on-site, you'll want to look into Disney's Value hotels (Pop Century, the All-Stars and Art of Animation). The awesome thing about staying on-site in the busy times is that you'll have access to free transportation anywhere on-property, plus free parking at the there parks. If you are open to staying off-site since you'll have a car, there are lots of options nearby, including in Disney Springs (and some Disney Springs hotels also offer Extra Magic Hours benefits, so keep an eye out!) Have a great trip!
We plan to go to WDW the week of Dec 10-17 - pulling the kids out of school for this one! Will there be any Disney hotel deals announced soon for that time?
These have historically been released any time between now and August, so just keep your eyes out! Remember that Disney will retroactively honor deals that come out, so it never hurts to book now and call once the deals are released to get the discount applied.
What restaurants do you recommend for a family of 5 (kids 10, 9, 6) who are visiting during December?
Most all of the Disney restaurants are kid-friendly, so any will be great. Here is a list of the best character dining.
My husband and I will be joining our 3 sons families in December 2019. We have 5 young children in the group. We are looking to stay in the resort and all our families want to stay at same resort. Any suggestions where to stay in park
This will largely depend on budget and amenities you'd like in the hotels! There are three tiers of resorts on-site (I've linked blog posts to each category for more information): Deluxe, moderate, and value. Each will include free transportation options to the park, pools, and dining options, but you'll notice that this differs by category. Be sure to take into account how many you'd like in each room, as well!
What a frogtastic trip to go on. We hope you have a wonderful time! Come back and see us with any questions.
My family and I (2 Adults, 2 Children ages 3 and 1) will be traveling to WDW December 9-15, 2019. We have typically visited in the summer months and we are not sure what to expect coming in the winter and so close to the holidays. Any suggestions and tips as far as packing for weather and touring plan/itineraries for toddlers?
So fun! The Orlando weather can vary greatly in the winter, so our best recommendation is to layer so that you can easily add on or take off as necessary. Likewise, you'll find that your days may be organized a little differently than they are in the summer (since there's no need to beat the mid-day heat, and rather, you'll want to enjoy that mid-day sun in the winter!) There will also be a lot of festive decorations up for the holidays, so be sure to take advantage of all the festivities and sights (you can find our guide to last year's events here, which we'll update as details for 2019 are released.) Our planning guide for Disney World with young kids is hopful, too.
Frog pond, what other advice do we have to share with Brian for Disney World in December?
Have a frogtastic trip, Brian!
We will be in Orlando from the 7-14 December and need advice as first time visitors on which parks to visit with kids aged 18,16 and 14. Do we go to a water park or just focus on Disney and Universal?
If your kids are fans of Disney, princesses and more classic attractions, Disney is your best bet. Universal is awesome for thrill-seekers. We always recommend doing a combination of the two! Disney has two great water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach) and Universal's Volcano Bay is a blast. While the weather isn't the hottest in December, the pools are heated and crowds will be lower.
my wife and i are taking our kids to magic kingdom the 27th and 28th of December. I am unsure on what
type of tickets to purchase this far in advance. I am nervous about getting turned away due to the crowds. Any advice on how to avoid being turned away?
To avoid being turned away from entering Magic Kingdom, we suggest getting there and in line before it opens!
thank you for the tip! what tickets would i need to buy for us for entry in december? do i need to buy a peak ticket or would a magic your way ticket work?
You can check out our discounted tickets for details!
Hello! We are going to Disney 12/3-12/10, we are a group of 7 adults and a 2 year old. I have only ever been during spring/summer months what should we pack? Also I would love any tips you have on must eat restaurants we have the Deluxe dining plan and want to get our monies worth sticking with 2 meals a day. Thank you!
Early December is a very nice time to be at Disney World! The temperatures are generally pretty mild, but can sometimes get a bit cool in the evenings. Jeans and T-shirts should be fine, but make sure to bring a sweater or two and a jacket just in case.
The Deluxe Dining Plan will give you a lot of options for dining. It is a LOT of food! To really get your money's worth, choose a signature dining or two, they use two dining credits per sitting, but are worthwhile in experience. Odds are you won’t want to spend your entire vacation at sit down dining places anyway. A couple of signature places we love for larger groups are The BOATHOUSE and if you enjoy dinner shows, the Hoop Dee Doo Revue. Other great table service restaurants for groups that will only cost you one dining credit are: Tusker House (great for a late breakfast/lunch buffet), Trail’s End (amazing breakfast buffet, but also great for lunch or dinner), ‘Ohana (dinner, try to schedule during the Magic Kingdom fireworks), Be Our Guest, Biergarten, Via Napoli and Mama Melrose. Keep in mind there will also be new dining locations as the rest of Disney Springs opens this summer that may offer dining plan options.
There are also some great quick-service locations throughout the resort: Sunshine Seasons (Epcot), Flame Tree Barbecue and/or Harambe Market (Animal Kingdom), Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie (Epcot), Earl of Sandwich (Disney Springs). Of course, there are several snack options you could make a meal out of, like the chicken fried rice at Animal Kingdom, a bowl of soup in the Magic Kingdom, or a croissant sandwich in Epcot (France). Snack credits are also great for breakfast items like bagels, pastries, and coffee as well as sweet snacks and desserts like a funnel cake (big enough to share) or a Dole Whip Float.
Question: We are wanting to plan a trip to Disneyworld. I have two daughters who are 10 & 7. This most likely will be our first and only trip to Disney. We've been saving for a few years to make this happen. How many days do you suggest staying? We are looking at the week after Thanksgiving. I want to see all the Christmas decorations, etc. What character meals do you suggest as well? I have picky kids who don't eat much anyway.
We have a tons of tips and resources within our Orlando Planning Guide to help you out! I would suggest you stay a week so you can see explore all of the parks, see the Christmas decorations at the resorts and really enjoy your time. All of the character meals are fabulous; it just really depends on which characters you want to see. If your daughters are really into the princesses, I would suggest Akershus at Epcot or Cinderella's Royal Table at Magic Kingdom. Tusker House at Disney's Animal Kingdom has a terrific character breakfast with Donald and some of his friends. You didn't mention where you plan to stay, but the deluxe resorts also offer character dining (and you don't have to be staying at the resort to make a reservation).
Let us know what you decide!
My family of 8 will be visiting Dec 23rd thru Dec 27th. I almost do not want to go at this point from all of the reviews of the crowds during this time. I really want my family to enjoy trip as we may not be able to make this trip again. But it appears we chose the wrong time to travel.
The holidays are truly a beautiful time to visit the parks, even with higher crowds.
It will be a busy time, but there are things you can do so that you get to experience the parks with fewer crowds. First off, arrive ahead of park opening. This will give you a few hours to enjoy the parks with the fewest waits. Follow our crowd calendar and visit the suggested parks on the day of your visit. Use FastPass+ and make reservations now if you haven't already. Take a break in the afternoon when the parks hit their peak in terms of crowd levels and then come back in the evenings. With the holidays, the parks are open later, so this gives you another opportunity to experience the parks when crowds are lower.
Please let us know how it goes!
It's my daughter's 16 birthday. It is a surprise that will be revealed at her birthday party on 12-20, the day before we leave. I'll now be using your puzzle suggestion to unveil. Thanks! My 1st semester college son, her bestie, is, of course, going as well. Last time they went was Spring Break 2002, so this is like the first time. They are teens now, or should I say young adults; albeit very young. We will be staying for 7 days at the Westgate Villas. Your site has been fabulous. After reading through your info, I'm thinking. Universal is best place for the teens, but how can you go to Orlando and not do Disney. Money is limited. Also would the parents with grandma & dog need to go to every park the kids go? What do you suggest? And should I purchase the fast skip for rides?
I think you're on the right track. Universal will be awesome, but of course, you probably want at least a couple of days at Disney too. You did not mention how long you will be staying, so that affects decisions. I think the last questions largely depend on parents and grandma and how much time you all want to spend in the parks, but with the Christmas decorations and events and time with the kids, you probably would want to experience some of it. Also, the more days you stay, the lower your per day cost for the tickets, so that is something to think about.
If you can afford it, the busy holiday season is the time to consider purchasing Universal Express Passes, but it will be costly. Most definitely plan on arriving ahead of park opening, and you will be a step ahead of most others!
We are coming first week in Dec. Twin 10 year olds. One likes thrill rides the other likes less thrills when riding. Both love Christmas and are very tall for their age. My husband is that of a luxury hotel person. What parks should we visit that offers both low and high thrill rides and what hotel should we stay at that offers a luxury stay
I would definitely plan on visiting Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios for the combination of Christmas fun, low and high thrill rides. As far as hotels, I would look at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. It's quite opulent and absolutely stunning at Christmas. Of course, Disney's Grand Floridian and Contemporary are also luxurious choices. I would definitely consider adding a visit to Universal to your trip for more thrill rides, and you might consider staying at one of its deluxe resorts, which offer Universal Express Unlimited. Basically, you get to skip the lines on most of the park's rides.
You can find more information in our guide on Where to Stay in Orlando.
We are planning on going on the 17th or 18th,we leave in Nigeria
A family of 4 ,my on is 5 while my daughter is 3 am sure we will hav a great stay
.which is d best hotel to stay pls?
There are so many hotel options that it would be hard for me to choose one for you without knowing more details about what you are looking for, price ranges etc.
Check out this post that outlines our favorite Disney resorts:
We just booked for the week of Christmas 2014. It sounds like every detail will need to be planned in advance. It will be a challenge because there are 10 of us but I Know it will be a trip to remember!
It would be really hard to plan every detail for a group that large, but having the major decisions out of the way and a general plan will be a big help.
The good news is you have plenty of time to plan!!
Let us know how it goes.
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